By Caroline McParland
Members of Centereach High School’s Spanish Honor Society “left the country” for a few hours last Tuesday, November 28, as they visited the United Nations building. In the city, they first took a trip to Bryant Park in Midtown where the students had the opportunity to window shop, experience food from different cultures, drink hot chocolate, and watch ice skaters on the beautiful day. This was followed by a visit to the United Nations building, which is lined on the outside with flags from all the countries in the organization and is arranged in English alphabetical order, starting with Afghanistan and ending with Zimbabwe. The tour which the students took included views of three different critical meeting rooms where some of the most important ambassadors and leaders discuss solutions to worldly issues. They were exposed to different programs introduced by organizations like UNICEF that help improve struggling or developing nations. They also saw an example of a “School in a Box”, which is filled with school supplies that are sent to countries that may have been affected by a war or natural disaster. The metal case in which the supplies are enclosed can provide sufficient education to a classroom of students for about four months. A similar system is used with food, which may be sent to refugee camps containing people who are deficient in necessary nutrients. The tour guides were from countries with very different backgrounds, for example, Lithuania, which gave the group a different perspective on worldly issues. The guides touched upon the election process in the UN system, the meaning of the various art pieces in the building, and the donations made by different counties, including a green carpet from Ireland. Everyone who attended left the city with new knowledge about our world and learned how small actions can have a large impact on others. It was truly an eye-opening experience for all who attended!